Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
2002 Subaru Impreza - WRX (M5) Wagon
Cons: Some corners cut on interior, finish, etc.
Advice: Test drive it-You'll know right away if this car is your cup of tea!The WRX Sport wagon is in my opinion one of the best values on the maket. All-wheel drive combined with a turbocharged boxer engine produces some serious fun. The car accelerates with great speed, especially upwards of 3000 rpm, and corners with total precision. The car reacts beautifully to the driver-as an added plus, the wagon offers a fair amount of cargo space, and all models have full power and a decent sound system. I actually look forward to driving, even in traffic!
2002 Volvo S60 - 2.4T A SR FWD
Pros: The climate control that lowers fan motor when tempature is reached, but after 6 months it finally works.
Cons: All the problems I have had and still the sun roof rattles.
Advice: Stay clear of this one, now that Ford owns them, stay away.After only 5000 miles on my S60 Volvo I am ready to give up. The car has been back to the dealer already 6 times to repair 5 different problems. I just got the vehicle back yesterday and already I have to take it back for another problem. I would not recommend this vehicle to anyone.
2002 Jeep Liberty - Sport 4x4
Pros: Easy to read control panel/remote control for the back window
Cons: Reaching over the tire to get into the back.
Advice: Drive one, it's worth it.My husband and I wanted a new vehicle. What we wanted was a 4x4, with towing ability and a comfortable ride. That was a challenge. My husband and I searched out everything from A to Z, test drove them as well. somethings were too mushy, others were too truck like. While on our search and distroy mission my husband looked at a Liberty, then he asked if I liked the way it looked. I was taken by the look. We went on a test drive and we were sold. It has a smooth ride, not too mushy and not too truck like. It responds well to stepping on it in traffic conditions. We towed a trailer with it and it was just great, the ride didn't change at all, still smooth. Can't wait for a good snow, then we can play with the 4 wheel drive!
2002 Infiniti I35 - Base
Pros: TIMING CHAIN, INSTEAD OF RUBBER BELT
Cons: REQUIRES HI TEST GAS
Advice: COMES LOADED WITH STANDARD EQUIPMENT, AND HAS STYLEPLENTY OF POWER. SMOOTH RUNNING. GOOD BRAKES.
2002 Toyota Avalon - XLS w/Bucket
Pros: CONTROLS ARE CLOSE TO YOUR HANDS, AND CAR RUNS ON REGULAR 87 OCT. GAS
Cons: LOOKS AND RUBBER TIMING BELT
Advice: IF STYLE IS'NT IMPORTANT THIS IS A GREAT CARVERY SMOOTH WITH AMPLE POWER. BRAKES FELT GOOD, AND STEREO SOUNDS PLEASING.
2002 Mazda Protege5 - (M5)
Pros: Corners like a champ
Cons: C'mon Mazda...how about a decent stereo? Sound stinks.
Advice: Upgrade the stereoThis is a fun car to drive, no doubt about it. I gave my 99 VW Jetta to my son for college and needed something at least as much fun to drive, but less expensive than 2002 Jettas. That led me to consider Protege5, Civic, Sentra and Elantra GT. The Elantra GT was just as much fun to drive, but...well, it's a Hyundai, no matter how far they supposedly have come since 'the bad days.' The Sentra (I've owned 2, the most recent 10 years ago) continues to disappoint. Nissan doesn't get it anymore...you shouldn't have to spend $19,000 to get a subcompact with a moonroof and ABS. The Honda...well, I think Honda hasn't had decent styling since the '80s. The Protege 5 isn't as good overall as the VW Jetta...but it's darn close, and better in some ways. First, the negative: The stereo truly stinks. I'm already checking out crutchfield.com and Good Guys catalog. There are only 4 speakers (most cars now have 6-7 even in this size). There also is quite a bit of wind noise from the open moonroof, particularly because of the roof rack bar immediately above it, I presume. But I got the 5-speed standard tranmission and that's definitely the way to go. This car corners better than anything I've ever driven and has plenty of pep in the standard tran. The interior is nicely done and the seats are the most comfortable I've seen in a subcompact. The styling both inside and out far surpasses Honda's offerings in the Civic or Accord. This car is a winner...but I still have a fond spot for my Jetta. At least it's in good hands (I hope) and my son is thrilled. It's a great car, too.
2002 Mitsubishi Montero Sport - LTD 4x4
Pros: I like the heated seats and the sun roof
Cons: The shape of the side views and the lights do not turn themselves off after I open the door - I think automatic lights should be standard now
Advice: Don't buy it retail, the dealership will come down like $1500 off MSRP at least - get the 3.5L engine if you need the torqueI am really enjoying my new Mitsu Montero Sport Limited. It's a sharp looking import SUV with out the price tag, although it's a bit pricey, the value of the equipment and every option, the Mitsubishi name and of course the syling make it worth the price. I've always owned japanese vehicles and this is my first mitsu, I have nothing to complain about other than some silly engineering quirks. My opinions though.. The engine is powerful enough to tow 5000lbs and the on-the-fly 4-wheel drive is great and I can't wait for it to snow. I'll be back with an updated review later.